Tips to help you achieve a healthy summer lifestyle

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Generic image. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Generic image. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

By Dr. Sharon Thompson

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Summer is a time of year when people really focus on their weight.

There are some really simple tips that can help you easily achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Steps to Healthy Living

You don't have to clean your plate.

Eat when your body is hungry and stop when your body is full. Infants do this naturally when breastfeeding and starting solids. It is a natural habit. That habit is often lost by admonishments to eat a little more or to "clean the plate."

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This skill of responding to natural hunger and normal cues of satiety is a huge asset for healthy eating.

Half your plate should consist of vegetables at every meal (fresh or frozen). Only nine percent of Americans eat enough vegetables on a daily basis.

  • Vegetables are generally low in calories and fat and rich in fiber so they can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Vegetables are full of important nutrients like vitamins A and C, folate and minerals like potassium and magnesium as well as fiber.

Dessert should be a treat and not meant to be a treat every day. Dessert combines high sugar and high fat in a combination rarely found in nature but one that most people find delicious and compelling. That delicious and compelling combination leads to many of our health woes. You can indulge but not too often.

The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 100 calories daily from refined sugar, 150 calories for men.

Drink water! 20 to 30 percent of daily calories consumed can come from liquids. Sodas can have 35 to 65 grams of sugar in a single can or bottle! Compare that to 5 grams of carbs in a cup of raspberries or 12 grams in a banana.

Be suspicious of snacking. Snacks can help bridge the gap between meals. A small snack in the afternoon can curb your appetite so you're not so hungry when you sit down to dinner that you overeat. However, be aware that many snack foods are high in fat, salt and sugar, that can sabotage your good choices at meals. 

Tips to Remember

Size matters, we can eat and drink way too many calories by losing sight of serving size. 

  • Eat the rainbow of natural foods  
  • Red fruits and veggies help keep your heart strong.
  • Orange fruits and veggies help keep your eyes healthy.
  • Yellow fruits and veggies help keep you from getting sick.
  • Green fruits and veggies help make your bones and teeth strong.
  • Blue and purple fruits and veggies help your memory.

Pay attention when you're eating. Mindful eating is associated with greater enjoyment and eating less overall. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3941528

Prepare your own food as much as possible. That way you control the ingredients and are ready to avoid the sugary snacks that are ubiquitous when hunger strikes.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Don't try to make all changes at once. Just start with one.

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